Last Friday was a big day for ANSM. We held our AGM and said farewell to our long-time Executive Director Anita Price. This week we welcomed Maggie MacIntyre to the helm, who will be with us for a two-year secondment.
At the beginning of the month we also welcomed Krystal Tanner to ANSM, who will be our Member Services Coordinator over the winter while Emma is out on parental leave. And mid-month we were joined by Cheyenne Hardy who is doing her MSVU work plan with us (more on that later!). We are also talking with a potential volunteer about some data improvement work which would be very mutually beneficial.
Yes this is a lot of change, very quickly, and we're excited for the days and months ahead. And yes, we have been eating a lot of cake.
COVID-19 - Proof of Vaccine Policy
With the modified Phase 5 just around the corner on October 4th, CCH hosted a virtual session on the Proof of Vaccination policy and its impact on museums. Here are some quick highlights. Each individual who enters the museum needs to show proof of vaccination, which museum personnel confirm with a piece of government identification such as a driver's license. The exception to this is if someone only wants to access the gift shop. Staff do not have to show proof of vaccination, but volunteers do. Groups visiting the museum must each provide this proof; you cannot ask for blanket proof to be provided by a tour operator or group organizer. If anyone refuses to show proof of vaccination, they should be denied entry. If serious conflict arises, local law enforcement should be contacted.
For groups that are renting or using the space, they need to provide proof as well, for each individual the space. To make this easier on the museum, it is recommended that this requirement be added to any rental or use agreements with partners.
Very few people cannot be vaccinated and will be eligible for a medical exemption. While it is not being released publicly, there is an official template that is used for this and it will be readily apparent that an individual has such an exemption.
There are privacy concerns around showing these proofs, and so government is working on a new proof of vaccination card that will include a QR code. They are also working on an app that will scan the QR code or reveal either a green check mark or red X. Green means fully vaccinated and red means not fully vaccinated. It is hoped that this work will be ready by November.
A poster can be printed and posted in the museum. It can be downloaded here.
Museum Evaluation Program
This is the reason I missed writing an August update. Tabulation and report compilation took all of my time and attention, and reports were mailed out on September 10th as planned. Museums now have until October 8th to submit queries about their reports, after which we will shift into statistical analysis and more report writing for the overarching annual report.
If you're wondering when your museum is next scheduled to be evaluated, check out the schedule on our website. Announcements about 2022 evaluations will be coming soon!
Our next Museum Studies Program course begins on October 27th as an online, 5-week series on Collections Management & Curatorship. The response has been fantastic and we currently have one spot left. This course is only offered every three years, so if you haven't yet registered and are interested in learning more about this aspect of museology, check out the website and snag that last spot.
Work continues on the improved condition reporting feature, and we look forward to testing out the beta version soon. We've also been talking to our counterparts in other provinces, territories and states about different features that they are using in CollectiveAccess. Being able to share ideas and build on each other's work is such a great benefit of using an open-source system.
As we've seen since the pandemic began, there is a lot of database activity right now. I know people are tired of hearing it, but it is so important for supervisors to be reviewing the work of staff and volunteers, and to reach out with any questions. We are still seeing dirty data being entered into the systems and this is resulting in inaccurate searches and frustrations for both museum users and NovaMuse users.
Collectively, there are 341,738 artifact records and 303,344 associated media files in our members' databases. It is exciting to see the gap between records and images close, but again we need to remember that quality matters more than quantity. Here's how things stand regionally:
Southwest: 146,842 artifacts, 104,145 images
Central: 106,171 artifacts, 97,272 images
Northeast: 55,708 artifacts, 76,362 images
Cape Breton: 33,017 artifacts, 25,565 images
Educational Partnerships & NovaMuseEd
In case you missed it, Sarah wrapped up a very successful summer internship in August. She wrote a lovely post to say "so long" and is now back in school. And as I mentioned above, this month we welcomed Cheyenne to ANSM. Cheyenne is a student at MSVU and has joined us to work on NovaMuseEd initiatives. She is teeming with ideas of her own, but is also very keen to partner with museums. She'll be working through our little stockpile so if you've shared files with us already, keep an eye on your inbox. If you haven't yet shared your school program ideas or files with us, now is a great time to get on board with NovaMuseEd. Teachers are actively using the resources and we'll be promoting NovaMuseEd at the October Social Studies Teachers Association conference. This is a great chance to highlight museums, collections, and what we have to offer. Cheyenne can be reached at our project[at]ansm.ns.ca email account if you want to reach out and talk.